Côte d’Azur

Who said that the Côte d’Azur can be summed up by the festivals of St Tropez and the crowds in Nice? In Hyères, people live by the rhythm of the mediterranean sea. In Hyères, it is sunny 300 days a year. But above all, it is possible to enjoy a pleasant lifestyle in this small community in the South of France. Here, there is no arrogance or stifling crowds; there is a relaxed atmosphere. Here is a snapshot of some of the prettiest spots, some of the finest cuisine and some of the most comfortable places to sleep.

One of the great assets of the Côte d’Azur is the contrast between the golden sandy beaches and the ultra-developed fauna and flora. It would really be a pity to miss the magnificent countryside in the area surrounding Hyères Les Palmiers. Among our favourite walks, we can warmly recommend «La ballade de rêve» which is a tour of the peninsula of Giens, a real paradise on earth. It is a walk marked out by impressive panoramas which lead to many deserted creeks.

Another strong point of the municipality is its three charming islands. That of Porquerolles, the largest of the three is also the most frequently visited and is not to be missed. To get there, you go by boat from Port de Plaisance (two departures per day). There are alternating agricultural areas, vast wooded areas and beaches for you to enjoy a day in the middle of nature. The island is also home to France's National Botanical Conservatory where some 130 varieties of olive trees are preserved!

In the centre of Hyères,you can eat at «La table d’Enzo». Right in the middle of the historical centre, at the place Massillon, this unpretentious restaurant offers some fairly standard entrée-plat-dessert menus but they are no less delicious for that. You can sample the specialities of the region ranging from moules gratinées (mussels with grated cheese) to fondue de mobiles (morel fondue).

On the peninsula of Giens, you can try «Le patio des arts» for its Mediterranean cuisine with a menu conceived depending on what is available in the market!

On the island of Porquerolles,you can pop into Lise & Andre’s for an intimate dinner under the orange trees. «L’orangeraie» combines freshness, a local flavour and the art of gastronomy to rattle your taste buds - all in very different surroundings. There is also bed and breakfast.

Because it richly deserves its three stars and is situated five minutes away from the Airport, you can sleep at «La Potiniere», a very comfortable establishment which is a stone’s throw away from Port de Plaisance. The owners will personnally welcome you which will make all the difference. A strong point is the breakfast (huge!) served on a terrace by the sea. Room with a balcony and view over the Mediterranean and a private beach.

Tags: France, Côte d’Azur